The Dawn of Crowdlending in Mauritius Will Make You Rethink Your Financing Options
In the world of Crowdlending, individual or institutional investors have a regulated framework to provide loans directly to the small and medium business (SME) ecosystem that require financial support but where traditional lending is not suitable or desirable.
This is advantageous to both sides since borrowers get the funds they need to grow while creating fans out of investors that are “invested” in their success, and lenders get a return from participating in the fabric of an entrepreneurial world that was previously not accessible to them.
Indeed, in this model, investors can support the latest disruptive products, a good business proposition, or the mom and pop shop down the road.
Fundkiss, founded some four years ago although operational only about a year ago, is the first regulated crowdlending platform in Mauritius and aims to be the place where businesses and investors meet.
Fundkiss now provides an online platform that allows businesses to apply, advertise themselves, and finance their projects by borrowing money from private investors and other institutions in Mauritius. To note, while applications from individuals are considered, its niche is business borrowers by focusing on SMEs and sole traders (or self-employed persons).
Paul Perrier, the Co-Founder, and CEO of Fundkiss explains:
“Previously, the traditional banking system held the monopoly for lending to businesses, but Fundkiss is actively changing that and providing companies with alternative funding methods.
One such innovative method is acting as a marketplace that links enterprises and investors by indirectly enabling SMEs to market their products.”
After observing the market for some time, Paul is of the opinion that there is an immense untapped potential that can bring economic wealth balance to Mauritius.
To date, Fundkiss has funded over 50 companies with a cumulative loan amount of approximately Rs. 30 million. One unique advantage of receiving funding from Fundkiss is that they require no guarantor, which means that the borrower does not need to provide collateral and is not required to put a lien over their assets.
However, these unsecured loans do require a process of rigorous credit analysis and risk management. In this task, they are assisted by their Mauritian-based partner, Strategic Insight.
Once applications meet credit requirements, they are forwarded to Fundkiss’ head office for processing, where their Head of Credit and Credit Committee must validate and determine if the applicant is eligible and suitable for the requested loan.
This entire process is relatively quick as it is done within approximately 30 days of the initial loan application being submitted. However, the timeframe does generally vary from two to eight weeks, depending on the completeness of the supporting documents provided.
To be eligible, applicants must be aware that Fundkiss does not assist with business formation or start-up based support services.
The criteria to use the Fundkiss marketplace include:
Businesses must be operational for at least two years before applying, as Fundkiss (which performs three levels of credit analysis) requires supporting financial documents such as bank statements, etc. Its Credit Department uses this information to make a determination on the credit-worthiness of the applicant, at its discretion, and whether it is in a position to service its obligations to repay the loans as and when they fall due.
More importantly, this information also influences an investor’s decision to participate in funding the loans (and therefore being a win-win-win for the platform, the investors and borrowers).
Registration and document submission are all made online with a Fundkiss representative contacting the applicant within 24hrs. Sole traders are eligible for a lending amount of no more than Rs. 100,000 per project while SMEs may borrow up to Rs. 1 million per project.
Lastly, when an applicant has been successful and received their loan, repayments begin one month after receiving their funds, and continue monthly up until the loan has been paid off. This also ensures that investors get a monthly return on their investment (both capital and interest).
Innovation is not solely about coming out with new technological platforms, and as Fundkiss is demonstrating, it is about serving a real demand in the workplace. Being regulated and having oversight is part of that equation.
Today, Fundkiss is creating a choice in the market in addition to providing a tailored wealth preservation vehicle, previously not available.
They are contributing to building an inclusive tomorrow.
For more information on Fundkiss, access these useful links below:
By Nadine A. Jack (XTM; 2020)